Lorry redesign to prevent cycling deaths?

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  • Lorry redesign to prevent cycling deaths?
  • Premier Icon ahwiles
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    binners – Member

    The problem here isn’t lorry design. The problem is idiots. You see them all the time. Riding up the inside of lorries and buses.

    more often than not – where the ‘bike lane’ is.

    Premier Icon amedias
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    The problem here isn’t lorry design. The problem is idiots. You see them all the time. Riding up the inside of lorries and buses. Anyone with half a brain should surely know that thats a suicidally stupid thing to do. No amount of vehicle design is going to prevent them still being idiots

    It’s also cycling infrastructure that suggests (and in some cases forces) the cyclist into a dangerous position, nobody intentionally puts themselves in mortal danger, it’s either ignorance of the danger or a set of circumstances that places them in danger through no fault of their own.

    Perhaps the millions now having to be ploughed into this might be better spent of educating the terminally thick

    Perhaps indeed! I mean, it’s common sense to you, as a rider, but is it common sense to Mr/Mrs Joe Average who has hasn’t had a near miss yet, or has never had the size of a lorry blind spot demonstrated to them? Did you educate your kids (if you have them?) or did they have this explained to them somewhere? It has to start somewhere, you can’t just assume it’s obvious or common knowledge, and even when it is common knowledge that it’s ‘dangerous’ very few people actually realise the magnitude of that danger and just how quickly and easily it can become fatal.

    The problem is not idiots, its many different modes of transport trying to share an environment that was never designed with safety in mind.

    EDIT – ranting aside, I think the lorry news is a good thing, little harm can come of it and plenty of good can, so why the opposition?

    If Lorries had always been designed that way and then someone suggested doing it the way they are now, there would be uproar at such a stupid and dangerous idea!

    trail_rat
    Member

    just because there is a bike lanethere doesnt absolve you of responsibility to think about where you are riding your bike.

    aP
    Member

    Most cyclists are killed by tipper lorry drivers on piecework rates, many of them from behind.
    There may be some cyclists who put themselves in dangerous spaces on the road, but they’re often not the ones being killed.
    Anything that reduces possible interaction behind large commercial vehicles and other more vulnerable road users is to be welcomed. Actually IMHO lorries should be banned from many roads in built up areas as they’re too big for them.

    DT78
    Member

    How about something akin to parking sensors that beep in the cab when an object is in the lorries blindspot or maybe a small camera with a screen in the cab. Or even paint the blind spot on the side of the truck with ‘danger’ written on it? Doesn’t necessarily need to be mirrors.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
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    trail_rat – Member

    just because there is a bike lanethere doesnt absolve you of responsibility to think about where you are riding your bike.

    i agree, but surely bike lanes shouldn’t have fatal consequences designed into them?

    How about something akin to parking sensors that beep in the cab when an object is in the lorries blindspot or maybe a small camera with a screen in the cab. Doesn’t necessarily need to be mirrors.

    That sort of stuff already exists. Look at the side of (most) trucks in That London these days and there’s all sorts of aids – Cameras, beepers, mirrors aplenty, those curved lens thingies in the window (name?) etc. Then there are the audible indicators. “This vehicle is turning left” etc.

    The trucks have made a great effort, I think. OK, so they were almost certainly forced to, but that’s no bad thing – They’ve made an effort, they’ve tried to eliminate more and more potential hazards.

    And yet, and yet, every single day I see some idiot going up the inside of a left turning truck and I wince in fear at what’s going to happen. Sadly, cyclists, or at least many of them, haven’t made as much effort to eliminate hazards as the trucks.

    The problem here isn’t lorry design. The problem is idiots. You see them all the time. Riding up the inside of lorries and buses. Anyone with half a brain should surely know that thats a suicidally stupid thing to do. No amount of vehicle design is going to prevent them still being idiots

    A bit harsh, I’d be very supprised if even 10% of the poulation know not to undertake lorries at junctions. Heck, I’d be impressed if 1% knew that.

    Premier Icon amedias
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    just because there is a bike lanethere doesnt absolve you of responsibility to think about where you are riding your bike

    It’s not about absolving people of responsibility, but look at it from a non-regular cyclist point of view.

    Your friendly local council have provided a bike lane, and there’s always talk in the news about how everyone wants to promote cycling, so surely the nice council poeple would have made sure the bike lanes are in safe places? And since it’s a bike lane, then that’s where I should be isn’t it, I’m riding a bike after all?

    It’s insidiously ingrained into people when they learn to drive, and learn about roads and driving, that bikes go ‘here’, cars go ‘there’, you stay where you’re supposed to and follow the rules. There’s also the assumption that people have seen you, after all, you’re always taught how important observation is when driving so surely those drivers are looking and have seen you?

    It’s only with experience that you learn the real dangers, where is dangerous, what manoeuvres are most likely to result in problems, and how likely you are to have been seen.

    I’m not saying it’s right, but I’m saying that we’ve created a situation where we’re subconsciously saying to people ‘this is a safe area’ when in fact the opposite is true.

    The environment just isn’t suited to mixing large hard objects with small squishy vulnerable ones. Catch 22 though, large vehicles like that are dangerous in urban and metro environments but they are necessary (to a degree), so why not do everything possible to make them safer?

    aP
    Member

    To my understanding commercial vehicle operators have resisted at every step the Mayor of London’s increasing requirements for vehicle safety measures, and when I say the MoL I mean both Ken and Bozza.

    DT78
    Member

    How about some sort of covering that hides the wheels/gap under the truck so said silly cyclist would hopefully be pushed over rather than go under and get squished. Might be a bit of a problem on the motorway with crosswinds though…

    I did ride up the inside of a lorry at a set of lights a couple of weeks back on a marked cycle lane – it is normally (I ride it 2-3 times a week) red and you usually have to wait a long time, however, this time as I was unclipping it turned green and the lorry turned. Proper OS HIT moment. Luckily I was able to stop in time but it shows even experienced riders, who should know better, and can do dumb stuff.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    If an industrial machine in a workplace was regularly killing “idiots” it would be taken out of service and the workplace redesigned to prevent “idiots” getting close enough to get killed.

    Also the operator would probably be sacked or never allowed to operate that machine again.

    Why should lorries and our roads be different?

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    Most people just don’t realise how dangerous lorries are- and tbh assuming that other vehicles on the road are basically safe isn’t so unreasonable.

    Premier Icon binners
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    Surely the bottom line here is whether its going to make one scrap of difference? And I really can’t see why it would? Or whether its just a case of being seen to be doing something?

    If you did this in conjunction with other moves, then I could understand it. But in isolation I can’t see how its possibly going to reduce the incidence of idiots being squashed. Surely it’d be better to spend a bit of money to educate idiots cyclists on the correct way to approach this. i.e.: use the instinct for self-preservation you were apparently born with, and don’t ride up the inside of a massive thing that weighs tons, into a position where the driver of it can’t possibly see you

    This just seems another example of people being exempted from engaging the grey matter, and taking some responsibility for their own actions. Ultimately, if you haven’t got the nouse to figure out that this is a risky undertaking, then you’re clearly a risk to yourself, and maybe the gene pool would be better off without you

    Trimix
    Member

    If you provide a “lane” then some users will think they are safe in the “lane”.

    You cant legislate for stupidity however you try.

    To be totally safe you would need to physically seperate the traffic.

    So this will make no difference at all.

    trail_rat
    Member

    “i agree, but surely bike lanes shouldn’t have fatal consequences designed into them?”

    what do you suggest as an alternative then ?

    segregation does work – but leads to a them and us attitude….and we will be driven off the roads.

    you cannot make the cycle lane go up the middle of the road – thats even more dangerous.

    you just need to educate that lorrys need more room to turn.

    Ive even seen folk squeeze upthe inside of lorrysin their cars with disasterous consequences…. harbour quay corner in aberdeen ford ka ended up about a foot shorter.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    binners – Member

    into a position where the driver of it can’t possibly see you

    But that’s just it- people aren’t going to come at this from the assumption that trucks are deathtraps.

    I think the real solution is to stop squeezing large vehicles onto roads they’re not suitable for. If large trucks can’t be made safe, use smaller ones. But if that’s not acceptable, we should be doing everything possible to reduce the threat, and certainly not blaming it on cyclists.

    There’s much we can do to make ourselves safe; that doesn’t take away culpability from the vehicle that drives over you.

    brakes
    Member

    it is often the case that a single intervention such as this will not solve the problem, but it raises awareness (sometimes due to the controversy of it and the discussion/ debate it creates) which in turn highlights to individuals what they could do to help. see the change in law as the catalyst for broader change.
    go to any bike show and there is a police unit and a lorry talking about where not to be on a bike.
    everything is marketing.

    project
    Member

    Mercedes brought out a bubble lorry cab many years ago with a circular windscreen and driver in the middle of the cab, a concept lgv, it never took off in production.

    Truck magazine did a test drive in it and as far as i remember didnt like it.

    The problem here isn’t lorry design.

    The problem is *partly* lorry design. Current cab design is optimised for driving on motorways and maximising load capacity by making the cab as short (and therefore necessarily high) as possible. Tipper trucks are optimised for rough building sites not for streets.

    When tipper trucks are in workplaces (ie onsite) they have a banksman to guide them and make sure they don’t run into anyone. Rubbish trucks (where the place of work is the street, and they are around working staff- ie the bin emptiers) have low cabs with lots of glass to maximise visibilty.

    LCC mocked up an example –

    We need to treat the roads like workplaces, and properly investigated incidents and eliminate the risks in the same way (and separate cyclists from interactions with motor vehicles etc etc – different discussion). Even if we have completely separate infra for cyclists current lorries should not be allowed in a city around pedestrians.

    Premier Icon convert
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    Proper, grown up cycle commuting for the masses won’t come of age until we invest money (and except the compromises it will inevitably bring to other forms of transport) and go all dutch stylee with huge quantities of separate cycle orientated road structure rather than playing around the edges with lanes painted on as an afterthought. Making sure lorries have the best vision possible is good news but not the answer.

    I don’t mind admitting that even as an experienced cyclist, with many years of commuting to my name in smaller towns and the countryside, when I go into London the thought of using a bike to get between A and B fills me with dread. I am sure once you know the route intimately and ‘get your eye in’ it becomes less stressful but for me it’s not fit for purpose until pretty much anybody can hop on a bike and travel around ‘sight unseen’ and feel at ease.

    plumber
    Member

    Since being in London I’ve become a big believer in riding on the pavement.

    Basically on the grounds that I’m less likely to get squished.

    I ride slowly and with care around pedestrians and have not to date been ‘talked to’ by any pedestrian or authority figure.

    It may be wrong but I am certainly a lot less dead as a result

    plum

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
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    The driver who collects my freight had stickers on the back of his lorry reading “Right side” and “Sui side” complete with a Bike icon. I rather liked them, he got suspended and made to remove them after a cyclist complained.

    Yes cycle lanes are in the wrong place but, as rightly pointed out you don’t have to use them, I regularly see idiots followa cycle lane to a three lane junction then turn right from it across three lanes of traffic.

    People manage to not ride into cars parked in the cycle lane or down holes from road works etc by using their grey matter, it’s no different from exiting the cycle lane to pass a lorry (or hanging back).

    Premier Icon binners
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    Lorry redesign to prevent blind spots

    A major advance in making roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians was announced today.

    Lorries will be redesigned to eliminate the driver’s “blind spot” responsible for countless deaths.

    So this is now law. I know this is all very well-intentioned, but isn’t it rather spectacularly missing the point? A lorries blind spots are enormous. And I can’t see how they can ‘eliminate’ them, unless you turn the cab into a big glass bubble, and tell them not to actually carry a load. Seems like a lot of effort to go to (or in usual EU fashion; force other people to go to) to achieve very little.

    The problem here isn’t lorry design. The problem is idiots. You see them all the time. Riding up the inside of lorries and buses. Anyone with half a brain should surely know that thats a suicidally stupid thing to do. No amount of vehicle design is going to prevent them still being idiots

    Perhaps the millions now having to be ploughed into this might be better spent of educating the terminally thick. Or maybe just leave Darwinism to take its course….

    IanW
    Member

    Great idea (despite the op’s attempt to troll it) also as mentioned incentives for driving fast should be made illegal.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    Aren’t they sposed to be spending a shed load of millions on making a handful of mini-Hollands somewhere in London?
    My questions are…
    1. is any Dutchman going any where near the design/consulting phase?
    2. are any of the UK council, TFL, or whatever staff/consultants going to spend a couple of hundred quid of those millions on a business trip to Holland to see what Holland has?
    3. will the final thing look anything like Holland?

    3x “No” ??

    Lorry design might save a life. Maybe two. But at the end of the day, are there any statistics recorded for all of those major oh 5h1t moments? So there’d be no way to prove it unless fatalities halved or something.

    UK is just too concerned with the “we are the traffic” attitude, and fighting the “road tax” argument. NL doesn’t do stripes of Dulux up the inside. It does a totally separated lane up the inside with separate light phase. Or a totally separate parallel road that’s not not even a thru route for trucks/cars, but is for bikes.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
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    Vehicle that drives over you… Interesting turn of phrase. If you’re in a car and you move from behind a vehicle and get hit in the process that’s your fault. It’s not about blaming cyclists it’s about extending the same responsibility to every one. Reversed over by a truck, his fault, undertake one and get squished, your fault. Plain and simple, it’d be your fault on a motor Bike, in a car, another lorry or what ever, just because cyclists come off worse doesn’t make it the other road users’ fault.

    It’s not about blaming the victim it’s afoot making oeuvre take responsibility for them selves.

    The Netherlands do this

    Note that in a lot of places there are no pavements – the small number of pedestrians who walk beside busy roads and in rural areas can safely share bike facilities. We have lots of poorly used pavements in this country that could be upgraded

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Ian – Why am I trolling? I’m just expressing an opinion. I think its tokenism, and I can’t see how its going to make one scrap of difference. Do you honestly believe that less idiots are going to be squashed as a result of this?

    You’ve said this is a great idea. Would you care to expand on that? And explain how this is going to prevent the flattening of half-wits?

    craigxxl
    Member

    Redesign of trucks may save a life in certain situations and roads but education will save many more. Just reading the above there is still a mindset that we’re cyclists so rules don’t apply nor can we blamed.

    It’s not just about cyclists – it’s to protect pedestrians as well. Ped’s get run over by lorries when crossing the road because visibility is terrible too.

    Why are you blaming the victims (“half wits”?). It really does come across like you’re blaming the dead for getting run over back by nothing but observation of others.

    There are bad drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. They shouldn’t be killed when they make a mistake. This reduces the risk.

    education will save many more

    No, no, no and no again. Infrastructure will save more. Education has been failing to stop people being killed on the roads since the motor car was invented.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
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    trail_rat – Member

    what do you suggest as an alternative then ?

    an alternative to simply blaming victims of crap junction design?

    let’s start by acknowledging that the system is crap and dangerous. We need to fix the system, not blame the people using the system.

    there are several bike lanes on my commute that put me in the path of fast, left-turning traffic.

    someone designed it like this.

    Premier Icon amedias
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    undertake one and get squished, your fault.

    so stop **** putting cycle lanes up the side of them then!

    You know it’s dangerous, I know it’s dangerous, others may not, or may not realise how dangerous, so putting a nice strip of ‘cycle your bike up here it’s perfectly normal/ok’ paint there just encourages people to do it and think it is a safe place to be.

    If you replaced all the blue and green cycle feeders up the inside with big red ‘Danger! Death Zone!’ sign instead then it might start to slowly sink in, but decent junction design and where appropriate segregated feeders would be a lot better!

    Also, it’s not jsut about people going up the inside of trucks, it’s about people being in a perfectly safe place, only to then find 5 seconds later that a large vehicle has come up along side you and you’re now trapped in the danger zone! You never been left-hook overtaken by someone?

    And saying this wont work so don’t bother is far too defeatist, it may not fix everything overnight, but it’s a step in the right direction, the new design may not stop people being in a dangerous place*, but it will increase the chance of them being seen when they are there and hopefully consequently less likely to be squished.

    *regardless of how they got there, riding up the inside or being overtaken after the fact, which happens almost as frequently.

    Premier Icon amedias
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    No, no, no and no again. Infrastructure will save more. Education has been failing to stop people being killed on the roads since the motor car was invented.

    how about both?

    They’re not mutually exclusive, eduction AND better infrastructure would surely be the way forward?

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    It’s not just about cyclists – it’s to protect pedestrians as well. Ped’s get run over by lorries when crossing the road because visibility is terrible too they’ve just stepped out into the road in front of a ****ing great big truck, probably while babbling into an iPhone, or updating their Facebook status.

    FTFY

    Again… perhaps we’d be better letting evolutionary theory deal with these matters

    Premier Icon D0NK
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    A bit harsh, I’d be very supprised if even 10% of the poulation know not to undertake lorries at junctions. Heck, I’d be impressed if 1% knew that.

    I only really learned HGVs had big blind spots about 7 years ago while learning to drive and only learned how epicly huge they actually are a couple of years ago – been cycling 20 odd years.

    Lack of knowledge plus cycle infrastructure actively putting you in dangerous positions is a very bad thing.

    And of course all those poor sods who get hit from behind, no amount of rider education is going to help them.

    <edit> I’m not suggesting don’t try to educate people, I’m all for that but the focus should be as much if not more (and yes IMHO it should be more) on the enormous bloody dangerous, potentially lethal piece of equipment that has huge blind spots that are currently allowed to drive up and down busy town/city streets.

    gwaelod
    Member

    If HGV has a massive blind spot, and the driver places that blindspot over a zebra crossing or a cycle box and then kills someone using that bit of infrastructure, how much extra should he get added to his sentence?

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
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    I’ve been left hooked as you put it twice, once by a bmw who successfully hit me and put my bar ends though his passenger window along with a large dent from pinned pedals in his door, I was unscathed from the accident but he got out of the car and made like he’d kill me as I was lying on the floor, very fortunately the car behind was an off duty copper who pointed out it was his fault not mine since he over took me.

    The second time was a lorry in a concrete underpass, very luckily I managed to stop. In neither case do I think better visibility would have helped. Both drivers were well aware I was there and had driven around me, they just didn’t care as soon as the front of their vehicle was past me.

    “if I can no longer see something is it still there” yes, yes it probably is.

    In any sort of vehicle with mirrors can I see things behind me at a reasonable distance yes you can. So until it’s in then assume it’s still beside you.

    With regard to where the cycle lanes are, I agree they’re in the wrong place but simply being there is no excuse, there is an left hand lane on the motor way and most people know not too use it to undertake (probably about the same percentage as know not too cycle along side left turning traffic)

    Premier Icon slowoldman
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    I think it’s crazy to attempt to encourage cycling in cities without providing proper safe infrastructure. I’m pretty sure it’s universally acknowledged that painted cycle lanes are pathetic.

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